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[rah-guh] /ˈrɑ gə/
one of the melodic formulas of Hindu music having the melodic shape, rhythm, and ornamentation prescribed by tradition.
Origin of raga
1780-90; < Sanskrit rāga color, tone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for raga
Historical Examples
  • It was about the year 1813 raga commenced operations on a large scale.

    The Pirates Own Book Charles Ellms
  • Thence it is a day's journey to the river raga, where p.69 there is the sepulchre of King Zedekiah.

  • Among the most desperate and successful pirates of the present day, raga is most distinguished.

    The Pirates Own Book Charles Ellms
  • Among them was a chief, or rajah, named raga, notorious for the boldness and success of his undertakings.

British Dictionary definitions for raga


noun (in Indian music)
any of several conventional patterns of melody and rhythm that form the basis for freely interpreted compositions. Each pattern is associated with different aspects of religious devotion
a composition based on one of these patterns
Word Origin
C18: from Sanskrit rāga tone, colour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for raga

1788, from Sanskrit raga-s "harmony, melody, mode in music," literally "color, mood," related to rajyati "it is dyed," from PIE *reg- (3) "to dye" (cf. Greek rhegos "blanket, rug").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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